The non-war with Ukraine, which has been going on for three months, is burning Russian taxpayers’ money at a rate of almost a billion rubles per hour, according to official data from the Russian Ministry of Finance.
In April, the federal budget spent 628 billion rubles under the “national defense” item, the department reported in a preliminary assessment of the execution of the treasury.
On average, the military machine “ate” 21 billion rubles a day – an amount comparable to the annual budget of such regions as Kalmykia or the Jewish Autonomous Region. Compared to the last “pre-operational” months, defense budget spending has more than doubled.
So, in February, against the backdrop of the preparation of the campaign, the transfer of equipment and forces to the borders, expenses increased by 136 billion rubles compared to January, to 369 billion. In March, when the non-war entered the active phase, they had to be increased by another 81 billion rubles, to 450 billion, and in April – another 178 billion rubles.
Cumulatively, in January-April, the budget spent 1.681 trillion rubles on military items – three times more than on education (517 billion rubles) and healthcare (615 billion rubles) and 10 times more than on environmental protection (167 billion).
And although the treasury continues to receive an influx of raw materials taxes in the amount of more than a trillion rubles a month, and the EU oil embargo remains an unrealized plan, a sharp increase in spending and a falling economy are already forcing the budget to burst at the seams.
In April, the Ministry of Finance recorded the first deficit this year: government revenues were less than expenditures by 262.3 billion rubles. At the end of the year, the budget drawn up with a surplus will go into a deep minus, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov admitted at the end of April.
According to him, the treasury deficit will be about 1.6 trillion rubles.